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Gonzaga falls to No. 15, one spot ahead of Saint Mary’s

UPDATED: Mon., Jan. 22, 2018, 5:12 p.m.

Gonzaga guard Zach Norvell Jr. drives against Santa Clara’s Matt Hauser during the second half of the Zags’ 75-60 victory Saturday. (MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ / Associated Press)
Gonzaga guard Zach Norvell Jr. drives against Santa Clara’s Matt Hauser during the second half of the Zags’ 75-60 victory Saturday. (MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ / Associated Press)

Gonzaga’s loss to Saint Mary’s cost the Zags just two spots in the latest AP college basketball poll, but it did wonders for the Gaels.

The Zags (17-4, 7-1 WCC) fell to 15th after a 1-1 week. Saint Mary’s (19-2, 8-0) returned to the rankings at No. 16 after three-point road wins over Gonzaga and Pacific. The Gaels were fifth among teams receiving votes last week.

Gonzaga received 610 votes, followed by Saint Mary’s 571. The Gaels dropped out of the rankings after losing to Washington State and Georgia at the Wooden Legacy in late November.

Villanova (18-1), which handled Gonzaga 88-72 in New York City in December, continues to lock down the top spot with 63 of 65 first-place votes. The top three was unchanged with Virginia at No. 2 and Purdue at No. 3. Both teams received one first-place vote.

Duke moved up one spot to fourth, replacing Oklahoma, which plunged eight spots after an 0-2 week. Kansas jumped from 10th to fifth after a road win over West Virginia.

Michigan State, West Virginia, Xavier, Cincinnati and North Carolina rounded out the top 10. Arizona is the Pac-12’s highest rated team at No. 11.

In the USA Today poll, Gonzaga is 15 and Saint Mary’s is 18. The top five in the coaches’ poll mirrors the AP rankings.

The Gaels took over first place in the WCC with the victory over Gonzaga. The Zags went from a six seed to a seven in ESPN.com’s Bracketology following the loss. The Gaels are seeded eighth. SI.com has Gonzaga as a six and Saint Mary’s as a nine.

Other GU opponents and their NCAA seeding, according to ESPN.com: Villanova (1), Ohio State (3), Florida (5), Creighton (6) and Texas (9). Washington, a 97-70 loser to the Zags, is listed among the first four out.

Saint Mary’s is No. 40 in the NCAA RPI. Gonzaga is 56, followed by BYU at 69 and Pacific at 144.

Ohio State, which lost by 27 to Gonzaga at the PK80, soared from No. 22 to No. 13 in the AP poll after another 2-0 week. The Buckeyes lead the Big Ten with an 8-0 record.

Florida, which edged Gonzaga in double-overtime at the PK80 in November, returned to the rankings at No. 20. Creighton, a 91-74 loser to GU in early December, is receiving votes.

Wichita State, one of five ranked teams to go 0-2 last week, slipped 10 spots to No. 17. An 0-2 week resulted in Kentucky falling out of the top 25 for the first time in 68 weeks, dating back to March 2014.


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